An Exceptional High School Program
The high school program at a church in central Oregon is amazing.
Recently they offered a kit for the August 21st Eclipse that students and adults can use to reach out to their friends that don't yet know Christ. It has special glasses, ideas for an Eclipse Watch Party, some tips on how to bring the conversations around to Jesus with the guests that are to be invited, and more. When I spoke to the pastor that came up with this idea, he said, "I like to present our people with natural opportunities to be relevant in their God talk with people." I am certain you're as impressed as I am with his dedication and bright innovation.
Previous events of the group have included a Color War, the Ultimate Cut-Throat Mafia, and a Progressive Dinner.
However, what tops all this is the 2016 Mission Project. The students went to a week-long camp at which they were each paired with a special needs student as a "buddy." Some of the events the buddy teams participated in included laser tag, tubing, and a talent show, and lasting relationships were born. The pastor suggested that the students would never again look at a special needs boy or girl in the same way.
And the 2017 mission trip was even more ambitious. I'll have more information on this group that will be published soon.
Successfully Working with College Students
The staff at a church in the state of Washington has seen an increase in its College Ministry from a range of 20 to 30 about 4 years ago to around 80 now, and they've done that with mostly classic methods. Their best events are socials with games, food, and heavy promotion that encourages the existing members to invite their friends. As well, their small groups are flourishing, and the leadership reaches out a lot on the campuses of local colleges (mostly University of Washington). They'll stroll around the campus with a box of granola bars, engage the students in a casual conversation, invite them to their next meeting, and it works. The leading pastor emphasized the need to really lean on the existing members to invite their friends. He said that's almost their key to success.